World Ranger Day

Today is World Ranger Day, set aside to celebrate the work rangers do to protect our natural heritage, and to spare a special thought for those that have been injured or killed while carrying out their often dangerous duties. Here at de Wets Wild, we owe a huge debt of gratitude to South Africa’s ranger corps, who look after the special places we so love to visit.

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16 thoughts on “World Ranger Day

  1. Silver in the Barn

    My experience with rangers is limited to the good people who serve in the “tame” state parks here in VA where the chances of encounters with dangerous wildlife are few, comparatively. Still, I am impressed with their knowledge and dedication. The rangers in your neck of the woods take it to a whole new level, I’m sure. Thank you!

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    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      I just know the rangers in Virginia are hard-working people who love to share their knowledge about the beautiful places they work in, and the wildlife that lives there with every one they meet Barbara. Rangers are a special breed!

      Unfortunately our rangers face a much more critical danger from poachers, mostly armed to the teeth, these days than they do from dangerous animals and other risks associated with the outdoors. We’re quietly confident that they’ll win the war in the end, though. The alternative is too bleak to imagine.

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        1. de Wets Wild Post author

          There’s probably 3 main types of “poaching” they have to contend with Barbara.

          Demand from Asia for cultural reasons is behind the poaching of elephant, rhinos, big cats, abalone, pangolins, etc. Locally, there’s demand for animal parts for use in “traditional medicine” – notably birds-of-prey and especially vultures.

          Then, there’s wildlife trafficking for the pet trade, especially targeting reptilians and amphibians.

          And finally, there’s subsistance poaching for the pot, often with snares and hunting dogs that kill indescriminantly. At least this last one is about survival more than profiting from superstition or greed like the rest is.

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          1. Silver in the Barn

            I appreciate this information. The whole thing is just gut-wrenching, isn’t it? I saw a photograph which I won’t describe here of the remains of a poached elephant which left me in tears.. So upsetting…the waste, the carnage, the reckless destruction. Thank goodness for these rangers!

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    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      It takes courage, passion and determination to do a ranger’s job, often with very little in the way of monetary compensation. The deserve our thanks and support, no question.

      I am glad to mention that a monument to our rangers have been unveiled at the Kruger National Park today as part of the World Ranger Day celebrations:

      http://www.wildcard.co.za/blog.htm?action=view-post&id=5030

      Welcome to de Wets Wild, Brian. Hope we’ll see you around here often.

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